Pula Aquarium: Rehabilitated Loggerhead Turtles to be Returned to Sea

By 3 November 2019

As Glas Istre/Borka Petrovic writes on the 2nd of November, 2019, back in December 2018, a loggerhead turtled who was later named Mery Fisher was found by locals from Korčula floating along close to the shoreline of the island. After a stay at the veterinary station in Split, she was transported to the Pula Aquarium, where she needed to be carefully hand-fed due to multiple head injuries.

The Sea Turtle Recovery Centre is organising an autumn release of the rehabilitated sea turtles at 14:00 on Monday. Two turtles will be released into the sea - Mery Fisher and Zoki, who will be released on the Verudela Peninsula, on the beach next to the Verudica lighthouse.

As we have sinced learned, a GSM transmitter for telemetric monitoring will be placed on the turtles in cooperation with the Department of Biodiversity of the University of Primorska in Koper, Slovenia, as part of the project "LIFE-EUROTURTLE, joint actions to improve the status of protection and conservation of European Union sea turtle populations".

Prior to its launch, representatives of the Pula Aquarium will present the rehabilitated turtles, describe their injuries and the course of their recovery, and will inform the public about turtle monitoring and the project's activities.

Otherwise, Zoki is a loggerhead turtle who arrived in the centre at the end of July. He was found floating helplessly in the sea off the island of Susak. He was first taken by Blue World staff and kept at its centre, and given that he was still floating, they decided to call the Pula Aquarium and arrange transportation to the Sea Turtle Recovery Centre.

Zoki was thus put aboard the Bišovo catamaran on the first of August and transported to Pula. It was then learned that he had an old armor injury that was completely healed and there were no major health issues. He weighed 15 pounds on arrival, and is estimated to be between ten and fifteen years old. After arriving at the centre in Pula, Zoki soon regained proper buoyancy, and within a few days he began to eat the food offered normally.

As previously mentioned, back in December 2018, Mery Fisher the loggerhead turtle was found by locals from Korčula floating along near the shore. After being lifted from the sea, they noticed multiple head injuries. She stayed for a short time at the veterinary station in Split, which by decision of the competent ministry serves as a first aid station for injured sea turtles.

After a few days, the turtle was moved to the Aquarium in Pula, where she was given further intensive veterinary care and special attention was paid to regular feeding. With regard to her head injuries, it was necessary to feed the animal manually, but only after openly opening her mouth (assisted feeding).

In June, Mery Fisher was moved to Brijuni National Park, where she is housed in a large swimming pool as part of the animal shelter. Her swimming and diving skills were monitored there and she was eventually able to feed on her own. At the same time, the large surface of the pool allowed for some kind of fitness training and proper preparation for her return to the sea. She was returned to the centre in Pula on October the 24th, 2019, for final examinations and a GSM transmitter was fitted.

If you come across an injured or dead sea turtle, it can be reported by calling 112.

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